The focus of the doctoral training concept is to support individual PhD candidates in their development towards becoming independent researchers. The co-supervision of doctoral students is documented by a doctoral training agreement.
In addition to regular individual doctoral supervision, participants of the program will benefit from a mandatory doctoral academy program, where they can develop relevant scientific and professional skills by participating in various academic events and training courses. Individual modules can be visited at partner universities and will be credited.
The guidelines for quality assurance for doctoral programs provided by the Ministry of Science and Art in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany from 21.04.2013 and the DFG (DFG form 1.90) stipulate important professional obligations for doctoral candidates, supervisors, and quality assurance activities, which are defined as follows:
- Obligations of doctoral students include reporting obligations to the supervising tandem, which meets regularly with the doctoral students (at least twice a year). Doctoral students are committed to regularly submit their intermediate results for supervision. An evaluation is provided by the supervision tandem once per year within the research colloquium as part of the quality assurance process. In addition, doctoral students commit to regular participation in the doctoral research training program.
- Obligations of supervisors cover regular professional advice, regular progress checks of doctoral students, and mentoring. Supervisors of the cooperative doctoral program undergo an annual quality control by the speakers’ board. Minutes of regular meetings with doctoral students have to be created and made accessible to the two speakers. In addition, the doctoral students will have the opportunity to anonymously provide feedback on the quality of the supervision process. The evaluation and the introduction of possible improvements are carried out by the speakers’ board.
- The roles of an ombudsman for doctoral students and a spokesperson of doctoral students have been established to act as their representatives and to involve them in decision-making processes. An annual meeting of the cooperative doctoral program provides a forum for all supervisors and spokespersons to discuss aspects of monitoring and quality control, as well as issues related to the funding and development of the cooperative program.